|KIT #:||Jt 63|
|NOTES:||Good fit all around|
From the kit's instruction sheet: "The Allied bombing campaign over the Third Reich intensified from Spring 1943. In response to Luftwaffe demands for a fighter with performance specs to counter the Allied high altitutde bombing threat, Messerschmitt developed the Bf 109K, based on the Bf 109G model, as a fighter with excellent high altitude capabilities. The K-4 model, which was the first production model in the K series, was a fundamentally improvement on the Bf 109G-10 model. The powerplant was either a DB 605DM or DB, and the propeller was the wide-bladed VDM 9-1259 type. Armament consisted of one MK 108 30mm cannon firing through the propeller hub, and two MG131 13mm machineguns mounted in the cowling. Changes in the external appearance of the model, including fully enclosed landing gear wells and retractable tailwheel, were the result of attempts to improve the aerodynamic characteristics of the aircraft. Another change which brought about dramatic improvement in aerodynamic performance was to replace the Bf 109G-10's DB 605AS oil cooling intake with the Fo987 type. This change alone resulted in a 20km/h increase in top speed (from 690km/h to 710km/h at 7500m) using the same powerplant. Although, in a sense, a development of the G-10, the K-4 actually went into production ahead of its design predecessor in Spring 1944, and was first put into service with 3/JG 27 in October of that year, eventually being issued to nine fighter squadrons by war's end."
I wasn't planning to get this kit, and it wasn't an aircraft that I was desiring to add to my collection. However, on a Saturday, after getting vaccinated against Covid, I found a Facebook post from Hobbies Morón (Buenos Aires) that advertised several 1:48 Hasegawa kits (some unbagged) at very nice prices. When I saw that the Hasegawa Bf 109K-4 in 1:48 was available at a steal price (36$. A steal for a country with high inflation), I messaged the owner to reserve me this kit. I picked it up the same day after a bus trip of half an hour (Buenos Aires is devided in two, CABA, the capital of Argentina, and Buenos Aires, the province), and happilly put it on my workbench. The model was unbagged but complete, and the decals were a bit yellow, but usable.
The kit is devided in five sprues, four grey and one clear. All the parts are perfectly molded, with no flash present. Hasegawa believes in the philosofy of "modular design," which means they'll provide a basic kit, and add the parts necessary to make the correct variant. As such, there aren't many spare pieces once the model is finished.
There're two decal options, one for Bf 109K-4 "Yellow 4" flown by Felwebel Strebel (II/JG 3), and Bf 109K-4 "Yellow 1" (II/JG 27). Both have RVD bands on the fuselage.
I began by painting several cockpit parts in RLM 66 (Revell 78), with the rudder pedals being painted in Revell 91 Steel. Details on the cockpit walls were picked out with black and yellow. I tried to paint the instrument panel in RLM 66 with black dials, but I didn't have a fine enough brush, so the panel was entirely covered in black. I then glued together both fuselage halves, and then added the cockpit from below. This was then left aside while I worked on the wings.
The completion of cockpit gave way to the construction of the wings. I first opened the holes for the landing gear wheel's fairing. I then painted the inner part of the upper wing halves in RLM 02 (Revell 45). Before closing the wings, I glued the radiators to the lower half of the wing, left the glue cure, and then glued the wing halves together.
I then glued both the fuselage to the wings, and found the union of both to be perfect. I allowed the assembly to dry for an hour, and then I glued the flaps and slats in the extended position. The flaps only have small lips (unlike the 1:32 brother, whose flaps have very good gluing points), so let them dry thorughly before handling the aircraft. It was at this stage that I added the horizontal stabilizers.
|COLORS & MARKINGS|
After completing the main assembly of the aircraft, I began to wonder which colour scheme I would do. I had decided early on that I wanted to use RLM 81 (Revell 46 NATO Brown) and RLM 82 (Revell 65 Bronze Green), so at first, "Yellow 1" seemed like the favourite candidate. However, while searching for pictures of this aircraft, I came across a photo and several profiles of a very anonymous Bf 109K-4, 332700. This aircraft was photographed at the end of WW2 by the Western Allies at Wunstorf, Germany. The aircraft's fuselage was mostly painted in RLM 81/82, with the undersides painted either in RLM 76 or 84. The only markings that gave this aircraft some interest were two "700" painted on both sides of the fuselage, apart from the regular markings. I painted first the RLM 82, then 81, and finally 76 (since 84 takes lots of passes to become opaque). Once the paint was dry, I gave the model two coats of Revell's Gloss Varnish. I then applied the decals. I made a mistake with the kit's decals by applying the two fuselage crosses too far forward. I only realised this after the decals were fully set, and couldn't be removed with tape, so I resorted to using IPA, which removed both decals and paint. I repainted the area, used spare crosses from an Xtradecal sheet, and painted the 700s in black on both sides of the fuselage. Once everything had been solved, I applied two coats of Revell's Matt Varnish.
I assembled the propeller, painted the landing gear in RLM 02, painted the wheels and clear parts. The propeller was glued in place, and the landing gear struts were left to set for some hours. I then glued the clear parts with PVA glue.
This was a fun kit to put together. Simple, but with adequate details. I actually like the Hasegawa kits more than the Eduard 109s, since the latter is fiddlier.
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30 May 2022
Copyright ModelingMadness.com. All rights reserved. No reproduction in part or in whole without express permission.
If you would like your product reviewed fairly and fairly quickly, please contact the editor or see other details in the Note to Contributors.
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Back to the Review Index Page
Back to the Previews Index Page